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Old 02-16-2014, 12:03 AM   #1
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Accident on the road - how to secure awning

We (I) had an accident yesterday where I clipped a tree with the front of the main awning bars. It broke the top connect to the awning off and ripped out the awning bar screws from the skin. Tore up the skin a bit too. I removed the bottom screws of the front bar and completely removed the front bars.

The awning is basically being held on by the connection to the trailer that goes along the entire length and by the rear bar (cranked tight) and the travel hook. It does not seem to move as I drive while watching the front in my mirror.


Here's the question: Will the awning stayed rolled up on my four hour trip home?


I am on the road with my family and would rather make it back to my dealer with the trailer but don't want to my one mistake to become two.



Any advice or experience with keeping a rolled up awning, rolled up, is most appreciated.


It is 2012 28' international. I will try to post a photo tomorrow.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:26 AM   #2
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A photo would really help, as it is difficult to envision the exact condition of your awning and remaining mounting hardware.

I would caution against driving with the awning inadequately secured, as highway-speed winds could cause your awning to deploy like a boat sail and rip away from the roof, which could severely damage your Airstream and any vehicle following closely.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:33 AM   #3
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Consider using lots of the fiberglass reinforced tape that can be purchased from Home Depot or any hardware store. Clean the aluminum skin to be taped to remove the oily road film to assure good adhesion. Tape the front so that it creates a streamlined "fairing" into the wind to keep the wind from lifting the front of the tape and awing. Keep your speed very low and monitor often by canting the passenger mirror upward to detect any peeling of the tape by the wind.

Hope this "off the cuff" response helps.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:25 AM   #4
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Duct tape to the rescue! Wrap the awning with duct tape. Put the tape sticky-side up so it sticks to itself but not to the awning, and wrap all the way around. There must be some points along the length of the awning where you can get the tape in between the awning and the trailer skin so the tape can make a complete loop around the awning.

If you can wrap the awning this way at two or three points, that should be enough to keep it from unrolling.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:23 AM   #5
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Awning

A length of rope around entire trailer at the front of the awning. Tie a loop in rope and pass other end thru it to tighten and tie off rope with a couple of half hitches. Rope should be a minimum of 3/8 inch.
Should be safe to travel with although I would stop and check rope after a few miles and tighten as needed. Drive at 55 and enjoy not having to pass anyone.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #6
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Here are a few photos:

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Examining closer today in the daylight, the awning is in good shape except for the missing front arm. The skin is torn from the screws bring ripped out and put a nice four inch scratch by the door.

I was also thinking of buying a few big clamps and attach them.

Really grateful for your suggestions so far.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:38 AM   #7
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First of all, Don't throw a rope around the trailer. You will ruin the clear coat by chaffing. If you have a Z lock on both ends to the tube, lock them down. Tension in the rear spring will keep the awning rolled enough for a safe trip home. I do not see one still on the front. Lock the rear one. That awning is not going to unfurl. You cannot fit a tap between the awning rail and the body...it is just to tight. Look at the Owners manual for the Zip Dee available on line for mechanical references. Be careful next time.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #8
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This is a new trailer, so you will not have a Z-Lock. I agree with not putting a rope around the trailer as it will scratch the clear coat. The travel latch in the rear should prevent the awning from spinning out and becoming a sail.

I would use some duct tape on the front to prevent air from trying to get into the awning going down the road. Taping the outer aluminum shield to the roller should do the trick. Have the passenger keep an eye on it going down the road.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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There is only one Z lock or travel lock. It is on the rear portion.

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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A zip ties or tie down strap on the end of the awning and then attaching that to something on the roof. All that is needed is to keep the wind from getting under the awning and causing it to deploy. Looks like you got away easy as far as damage. I would put a larger patch over the damaged area and then attach new brackets to that.

Perry
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:01 AM   #11
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Accident on the road - how to secure awning

Many thanks for your support and ideas. I used duct tape on the leading edge to prevent wind getting in the front. The rear arm with the spring tension and the travel lock kept it rolled up easy. And yes, enjoyed a 55 mph uneventful ride.

We made it home safe with our rig and awning secured. Thx to you all.

The kids and all of us had a great central California coastal vacation at the beach. Highly recommended.

Now I'm just grateful for not damaging the trailer more as it was not hit directly except for the awning front bars and torn mounts. It could of been much worse.

Thanks again for your support.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:05 PM   #12
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I had the repair done. We patched the skin with the same airstream aluminum and used Olympic rivets. Have a look.

Attachment 209362
Attachment 209363
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:12 PM   #13
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:06 AM   #14
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Looks good. Could have been much worse!
We met a couple 2 years ago with a similar oops after an awning was left open during a storm. They returned to find the whole side ripped open. There were literally insulation batts on the ground. Huge damage!
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